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''Strike It Rich'' - 26 August 1955

Published 1955

An episode of the proto-reality game show series "Strike it Rich". Widely considered to be one of the worst television series ever produced.

Run time 29 minutes 20 seconds
Audio/Visual sound, black and white


Reviewer: viczzh - - August 21, 2015
Subject: Bibliographic Information And View for Strike It Rich
1. Title:
Strike It Rich

2. Contributor Company:
Walt Framer Productions

3. Main Contributor Names:
Todd Russell
Warren Hull

4. Main Performers:
Todd Russell

5. Media Type:
TVShow, GameShow, Audio: Monaural, Visual: back and white

6. Distributor
NBCUniversal Television Distribution

7. Year :
June 9, 1947 – January 3, 1958


Strike It Rich is a series of popular American TV game show in 50s. The game is pretty simple, Each player would be given $30 and bet any of their bankroll on answering each question after being given the category. If the contestant didn't win any money, the emcee opened the "Heart Line", which was a phone line to viewers who wished to donate to the contestant's family. [zz/110]

The television game shows are very popular during that time. One the one hand, speaking of the genre, the game show has much more simple rule and real-live feeling comparing to other television show. One the other hand, during the post-war time, with low production capacity and low economic pulse background, this kind of money-related game show is generally received by the crowd. Strike It Rich spreads a warming feeling of the society for raising money for the suffers and poor, it also shows the goodwill of general public by the format of Hear Line, which encourage everybody donate to the contester. [zz/110]

This typical episode, not surprisingly, starts with a commercial which presented directly by the game show host. Then here comes the host and the first contester. Different from other gameshow, contesters in strike it rich don't compete each other, they answer quiz questions from the host individually. The contestant tells some of his sad background stories. After a small interview, the host begin the first quiz round. The second contester follows the same routine. Interestingly, there is a heart-warming loop at the end of the challenge for the second contester. An audience walk on the stage and give the contester an $232 check. He claims a the money is collected voluntarily and donated to people like the contester, suffered from typhoon. [zz/110]

However, historically speaking, strike It Rich is a controversial game show. While some applauded Strike It Rich for helping out some less fortunate people, others found it a sickening spectacle that exploited the less fortunate contestants for the vicarious thrills of the viewers and the selfish gain of the sponsors. The supervisor of the Travelers Aid Society said, "Putting human misery on display can hardly be called right.”. In addition, as the burst of the most notable game show scandal in 1950s, people generally lose fate on game show and suspect the goodwill and kindness that the show spreads. The scandal shows that the sponsor company of the game show producer actually controls every aspect of the show. The show was totally scripted, we are not sure if the contestant actually get the money. With the complaints of the contents, the increasing doubt of game show and the increasing dissatisfaction of television, Strike It Rich ended on January 3, 1958. [zz/110]
Reviewer: 1110babe - - December 1, 2012
Subject: Not the worst--three stars for historical importance
This reminded me of a telethon. I don't think it was intended to be evil but it had a very naive way of helping people, just as Jerry Lewis did when sobbing over the plight of the kids on stage with him.

I can't think of any other show that would raise money on tv then for a black man. I applaud its lack of bigotry in a decade when things could be very bad for blacks indeed. His race was secondary. What was primary to the story was his status as a veteran. That was extremely unusual. Thank you for putting this on the website so we could know that things like that actually happened at the same time that desegregation and voting rights were issues that led to violence.

I also found it interesting that Fab was useful in all kinds of washers including ringer washers that were still in use in many households in the 1950s, including my family's home. It was a technological turning point.

What exactly was Gardol? :)

The show had an ill-chosen title. The amounts of money given on the show, even adjusted for inflation, were not instant wealth and made it sound as if the recipients were greedy and out to make a fortune out of misfortune. If it had been titled something like Good Samaritan or Help Your Neighbors it might not have seemed so crass among the commercials.
Reviewer: pauls son - - August 28, 2012
Subject: SIR
UHG!! Not quite as bad as "Queen For A Day" but pretty darn close. At least the causes in this particular episode were worthy & the people weren't goaded into crying, moaning, etc... as was the case on "QFAD". Although, did anyone else find it strange that as the 'pastor' was describing the horrific flood that killed all those people that he couldn't stop smiling?!?